JONSON, Benjamin (Ben). b. (probably) London, June 1573; d. London, August 1637. His father died shortly after he was born, but his mother married a prosperous bricklayer, a trade to which Jonson himself was apprenticed. However, he had also been educated at Westminster School under William Camden, and was well trained in Latin and Greek and Hebrew. He fought in the campaign in the Netherlands (1591-92), before becoming an actor in a travelling company, and beginning to write his early plays, such as The Case is Altered (1597) and Every Man in his Humour (1598). In 1598 he was briefly imprisoned for killing a man in a duel, and in prison he became a Roman Catholic.
Jonson, who was proud of...
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